Allergy Testing in Albany, NY
Immunotherapy is a program designed to combat your personal allergies. Commonly referred to as “allergy shots & allergy drops”, the purpose of immunotherapy is to desensitize you to your allergic sensitivities. Your allergy test results are used to create a mixture of these substances, customized according to the things to which you are allergic and the level of sensitivity you have to each one of these substances. Sterile extracts will be prepared from allergy-producing substances such as pollens, mold spores, house dust and animal dander. These biological substances are injected or taken under the tongue in increasingly stronger doses on a regular schedule (initially once each week for injection immunotherapy and three times per day for sublingual immunotherapy) until your maximum dose has been achieved. Immunotherapy is often used in addition to environmental controls and allergy medications to help eliminate your allergy symptoms. It is most effective for those allergies caused by substances you breathe such as pollens, mold spores, house dust and animal dander.
How Does It Work?
Allergies to substances you inhale are caused by your body producing excessive antibodies (IgE antibodies) toward these substances when you are exposed to them. Immunotherapy is designed to block your body’s production of allergy antibodies and stimulate production of protective antibodies, thereby eliminating your allergy symptoms. Small dilute doses are necessary at the beginning in order to allow your immune system to build tolerance to the shots over a period of time.
As the doses are increased at regular intervals, you should become less sensitive to the substances that cause your allergy symptoms. The dose that provides you with the most symptom relief or the maximum dose you can tolerate without a reaction will become your maintenance dose and you will continue to receive this dose at regular intervals. Your maintenance dose is established based on how well you are able to tolerate the shots which, in turn can be dependent on how much pollen, mold or other allergy-producing substances are in the air you are breathing during that particular time of year.
Sometimes a patient has to be held at a lesser dose until the allergy season passes though doses can subsequently be increased to provide maximum protection for the next allergy season. Occasionally a maintenance dose must be decreased during the allergy season as the additional “allergic load” is too much for some people to tolerate along with their shots at full dosage levels.
Immunotherapy is the only treatment specific to the actual allergy; all other treatments are directed at relieving allergy symptoms rather than stimulating the immune system. Literally hundreds of millions of allergy shots have been given during the past hundred years that this technique has been in use, and this method of treating allergies has been highly successful for a great number of people. There is no true “cure” for allergies, but immunotherapy can have a very beneficial effect on the health of an allergic person. Allergies develop over a period of time by repetitive exposure to allergy–producing substances.
Immunotherapy is a long term program that uses the body’s response to counteract the production of allergic symptoms. If you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and come in for your shots on a regular schedule, your general health and quality of life can be greatly improved.
If you are interested in an immunotherapy program, please schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today!
Holly Fisk, R.N.
Allergy Center hours:
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri
7:30 - 5:00 pm
7:30 - 5:30 pm
Download the Allergy Center Patient Handbook
Allergy Immunotherapy/Allergy Shots & Sublingual Drops Intradermal Testing (IDT) Skin Prick Testing Pulmonary Function Testing
Allergy Consent Forms
- Types of Allergies
- Types of Treatments
- What is Immunotherapy?
- What Can I Expect from Allergy Shots?
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